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Wolf Pack tamed

Molly Madden | Monday, September 7, 2009

After suffering two years of losing football, Notre Dame students are excited about this year’s team following Saturday’s 35-0 win over Nevada.

“Compared to the San Diego State opener last year, this team was more legitimate,” senior Tom Matthew said. “It was apparent that there was a great connection among the offense and that they had put in a lot of work in the offseason.”

After watching the team post 510 yards, Matthew is not the only one in singing the offense’s praises.

“It was obviously a very good game for the Irish offense,” junior Michael Flanigan said. “There was a lot of carryover from Hawaii and all the talk about the team’s work in the offseason showed.”

Students were also ecstatic about the dynamic passing game.

“Clausen and Floyd worked great together,” Matthew said. “Clausen knew where Floyd was going to be on that field.”

Saturday’s game marks the first shutout for the Irish since a victory over Rutgers in 2002, and was the first shutout with Weis as coach.

“I’m proud to have been here for the first shutout in seven years,” sophomore Sara Teising said. “It must be pretty cool for Weis to have the opener be a shutout,” said Teising, who is a part of the Student Management Organization and assists the football team at practices. She said while theoffense put up good numbers, she was just as happy with the defense on Saturday.

“I was really impressed with Kyle McCarthy’s interception,” Teising said. “It was a good catch and return.”

Flanigan said there was much to pleased about after watching the defense’s performance on Saturday.

“You really enjoy seeing no points up on the board for Nevada,” Flanigan said. “Especially holding them to 150 yards rushing shows real positive signs that the defense is showing up. The game wasn’t just about the offense.”

Matthew agreed that the Irish defense defied expectations.

“I was surprised that they prevented Nevada from scoring at all,” he said. “And while the shut-out is nice, if Nevada would have scored that field goal it wouldn’t have made the win any less significant. I’m just glad that the Irish were ready to play.”

While many students are still reveling in the victory over Nevada, some are already looking ahead to next week’s game at Michigan.

“We played a good game against Nevada but that doesn’t change the fact that we’ve got to go to the Big House next week,” Teising said. “I think that game will determine how the rest of the season goes. It will be tough since Michigan’s obviously been practicing more than us.”

Flanigan also expressed some worries about playing the Wolverines on the road after Michigan’s own impressive 31-7 victory over Western Michigan this weekend.

“I think that Michigan’s tougher than a lot of us initially thought,” he said. “I think that it’s going to be a really good game next week and that the outcome will help shape the rest of the season for the Irish.”